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Old 04-25-2013, 03:22 AM   #1
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20 gallon long idea, and how soon can I add otos?

I've just purchased a 20Long tank and would like some input from you experts before I throw those things in there, so they won't need to suffer like our betta did.

===YOU MAY SKIP THE NICE BACK STORY===
My wife bought a betta in a tiny bowl for my daughter about 2 months ago.
After watching the poor thing suffer I took over as the care giver and got him a 2.5 gallon, did the research and the remedies for his mouth fungus and fin rot.
I enjoyed taking care of the poor fellow (doing much better now) and I wanted some more fish. I tried putting some glass shrimps in his tank and they became a delicious treat.
I've also seen a lot of beautiful aquascaping while surfing the web and want to try one out.
===FLUFF ENDS HERE===


The tank will have an Aquaclear 50. Might be much but is only 4 dollars more than the 30.
Half the tank will be covered in short plants like marimo moss/moss ball, christmas moss, 1" japanese dwarf rush, 4" micro sword... the other half would be sand with some driftwood which will provide some cover. I will probably have 1 or 2 tall blade plants but overall not too much shade and might be fairly bright.

These are things I sorta want in order of importance.
6~ shrimps, ghost or bee shrimp maybe cherry. I'll take 3 Amanos instead of the little shrimps if they're gonna be someone's snack.
4 otos
6~8 schooling fish, I don't want them to look cramped in the tank, I think something small and energetic would be nice. It needs to be ok with low plant cover and moderate light.
4 Kuhli Loach

i)I heard otos die easily unless the tank is mature. How long should the tank cycle before adding the otos?
ii)Can I have shrimp, otos and Kuhli Loaches?

I welcome any suggestions or pointing of other threads to educate myself.
I want to do this right the first time with as little dead fish as possible.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:36 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome! First thing I'd do is read up on cycling and decide how you want to cycle the tank (fish-in or fishless). This guide explains the pros and cons of both, as well as how to do each one: Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:25 PM   #3
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I'm leaving town for a week in about a month so I was going to do a fishless cycle.

People seem to mention that otos need a 'mature' tank. Does that mean I can put them in as soon as ammonia and nitrite are 0, or does the tank need to be like 3 months old?
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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I don't think there's any set time-frame for getting Otos. They are very hard to feed; most prefer diatoms and biofilm to prepared fish foods and new tanks won't have enough for them to eat which is why it's often suggested to let the tank become established before introducing them. With that being said, my tank is about two years old and my Otos lasted a couple of months before they all died off. I don't have much algae to speak of though and they didn't take too well to prepared foods.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:44 PM   #5
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Thanks so much.
Ok, I didn't know the otos were so hard to feed. Maybe I'll look into corys instead.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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I did some reading and the otos look like they're more sensitive than I thought.
How about this instead?

3x Amano
2x Sterbi Cory
8x Black Neon Tetra
4x Kuhli Loach
maybe 1 swordtail
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomZash View Post
I did some reading and the otos look like they're more sensitive than I thought.
How about this instead?

3x Amano
2x Sterbi Cory
8x Black Neon Tetra
4x Kuhli Loach
maybe 1 swordtail
Try a small school of pygmy or dainty corys instead of the Sterbi! They are awesome fish, and corys like to shoal in groups. Two is better than one, but 4 - 6 little ones would be super fun. I love mine (I have species c. habrosus - my favorite, and c. pygmaeus) Mine live in a 29 g, so same footprint as a 20 long. The habrosus are more varied in coloration and the most visibly active during the day.

One word of caution, it can be hard to buy healthy new corys. As such tiny fish, they don't always survive shipment as well or may be susceptible to cory specific viruses after shipment. Each time save once when I've bought corys I've lost at least one fish. Try to buy the largest specimens you can, and if they've been at the fish store and healthy for about a week you're in better shape.

Totally worth it though!

Edit: corrected a sentence
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:32 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestion.

I like their small size, they're cute! I think I'll drop the swordtail and have 6 of those small corys.
It seems like places around here get the c. pygmaeus more often, though from what I've heard people get corys mixed up all the time.

My only concern is that I'll have 2x24W lights and the 20gallon long is fairly shallow.
I guess I'll put more shades and hiding spots if necessary.
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Old 01-04-2014, 02:37 AM   #9
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I overdid my lighting purposely and put mine in a new established tank. Still going strong and fat haha


10gal hitech/5gal lowtech
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